Author: Amy Ferguson

The Shakespearian efforts of trying to hide a "Fangirl: Extreme Edition" personality from the PTA that will likely be in vain and eventually a blog post. These are the failures and pop-cultured musings from a fangirl/housewife's brain.

The Ghost and Mrs. Ferg (that’s me)

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Yesterday I was having a day. One of those days were I question everything, my writing, my sense of humor, my lack of talent, etc. as you do, but instead of spiraling down THAT hole,  I set the timer and made myself write it all out for 30 minutes. My goal was to just stop thinking and letting the thoughts grow, but releasing them into nature so they can go bug someone else, like a weed. One of those dandelion seeds. Woosh into the wind, mean thoughts.

It’s raining, it has been and the light is weird and I think it’s making me feel. The sky is too light but not sunny or blue skies. It’s just that dull white/light gray and I hate it. It feels like dusk.

And then a woman started coming through. She just started showing herself, turning on a light, her rings clanking against the emerald colored glass of the lamp. Not a real lamp, by the way, this isn’t an Official Haunting. I would be screaming a lot louder if it were, this is just a mental haunting. I can’t see her yet. I’m only getting glimpses of her like mist. Like a dream teasing you hours later with tricky flashes of memory. Like a peep show. That’s what I imagine dementia feels like.

I wrote down everything she was showing me.

I see an older house. In the foyer looking in from the door, huge staircase on the right, does it wind up? Sometimes yes, but curved only slightly. Table with phone and lamp sit against the wall underneath. Library a bit down to the left. I’ve written about this library before… There was a man in a red velvet chair last time. No, it was a burgundy chair. Smoking. Does he belong to the woman??? Does she live here? Who was that guy?? Will I be able to remember? I wrote about him when I lived in Denver. I think. Why does it matter if I remember him? Why does he want to be remembered?

This woman is coming through like a spirit. Like I’m the medium and she’s trying to tell her story and I can’t hear her properly like I’m Whoopi in Ghost when she has to yell at all the other ghosts to be quiet so she can hear Sam. Except instead of ghosts being too loud, it’s the internet. 

I’m going to try to listen to her again today. She’s probably going to be spilling all her secrets when I’m in the back of the Uber on my way to this fancy gala I have to go to in Hollywood tonight. Because of course she will. Everyone else will be drinking and laughing and dancing to “Havana” and I’ll be sitting in the corner of the party typing this woman’s entire life into my phone on 23% battery, with my clumsy, drunken fingers.

God, I don’t have anything to wear.

 

You’ve Got the Look, LA Gear

If I could get into a time machine, I would go back to 1987 and buy these in every color. 11 year old me had these and 41 year old me is so completely jealous, I want them back by any means necessary. Especially the ones that have those fancy shark-gill looking things on the sides. Except I want them new. I don’t want the “gently used” pair that Jennifer in Palmdale is selling on ebay for $400. How do you do a shake-down of the she-devil that controls fixed, linear time?

I need these shoes! Look how cute they make a foot look. If I had them, I would stand like that a lot, I bet. Toe down, heel up, side angle view. And I’d get some chunky socks that I could multi-layer up my calf, giving the illusion that my legs are in shape.

I’ve been walking around the neighborhood lately with various friends trying to find celeb homes and keep eyes out for the usual Encino gossip. We’ve been actually walking a lot and I got yelled at by my podiatrist friend because I wear my Converse All-Stars to parade the streets. Apparently these are not approved walking shoes and I’m going to ruin my arches. I hate athletic shoes. I hate them, I won’t be seen dead in them. I would rather lose my arches, I’m that serious about it. They look totally normal on other people, but when I put them on I feel grotesque and monstrous. But the 80’s knew how to style an athletic shoe. I don’t know that The LA Gear high-top shoe is actually made for actual athletics but neither am I, and they’re super cute. I can throw a Dr. Scholls in there and what’s the difference?

Where can I get a pair of these fine lookin’ shoes?? Do I know anyone that knows anyone that has a time machine or works in a shady outlet store that’s been hoarding old (NEW) LA Gear sneakers that wants to hook me up from the back of a van in a dark alley somewhere late at night?? Cheaply? Do I know any shoe designers that want to make these for me? Do I start my own brand??? HELP MEEEE.

Book Club: The Final Countdown

 

The day before Book Club.

I was given 3 or so MONTHS to finish this book. The meeting had been put off and put off, but it was finally here. The day ahead glared at me like an evil witch, judging me for my sins. D-day. Do you know how far I was into this book, the day before the book club meeting, that I had had MONTHS to read???? Page 94. I officially made it to page 94. In 3 months. ACTUALLY, more like 4. FOUR months. If I did my math right, I would like you all to know that that is 30 pages on average a month. If you break that even further down, you sexy mathematicians, you will get one page. A day. Average.

So I planned on doing what any of us would have done, I cheated. I googled for spoilers, I read endings. I am a book club failure.

I was pretty sure I could fool everyone, though and I intended to try. I was going to go down in a blaze of glory. All or nothing. Lying to these nice people who let me into their group and their homes as I ate their pastries with confidence, commonly defined as “Of-COURSE-I’ve-read-this-book”-edence, blueberry scone crumbs clinging to the corner of my lying lips.

Look, in college I was an English Major, you think I haven’t faked this kind of thing before??  And by “English Major” I mean, “don’t look too deep into that because you’ll find I was inexplicably labelled a ‘Speech Major’ and I was too scared to go talk to anyone to get it changed. So I just made it all up as I went and then refused to completely graduate so I didn’t have to deal with it all and now here I am writing my bad-grammar blogs for free on the internet.”

So cheating and lying my way through this book club meeting like a snake oil salesman was the grand plan. And it would’ve worked too if it weren’t for that meddling Anxiety!  Because when Anxiety found out about it, she jolted me awake at 3am with judgements, panic, and an idea! Who cares about sleep, we Research! We can’t do it any other way. We’ll be kicked out of Book Club!! Several hours, and coffees, and pages, and post-it notes later, I was done.

And that’s how I finished a 306 page book. In 3 or so months. Actually more like 4. I read an entire book in almost 4 months and had to come and brag about it online.

Anyway, the next book has been chosen. I have about 6 weeks. What’s the over/under on whether I finish? One day I’m finally going to get my life together and you guys are going to be blown away.

Field of Dreams: A Metaphor

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This post is going to be super spoiler alert-y so if you haven’t seen this classic film yet, I suggest you do that first. I mean, the film has been out for 29 years, and if you haven’t seen it by now, Kevin Costner knows, he’s like Santa and Kevin Costner is not happy with you. Alright, you’ve been warned about both spoilers ahead and Kevin Costner’s disappointment, on we go with this journey.

This is basically a movie about ghosts and baseball and indulging in personal obsessions that no one else really cares about, but then kidnapping someone and making them care about said obsessions that probably somehow involve ghosts, and those are basically my favorite things in the world. Why wouldn’t this be one of my top 5 best movies ever?

It’s essentially an analogy of my current life, the field being the internet, I’m Ray Kinsella and I’m just sitting on the bleachers/couch watching ghosts play baseball and yelling about it to whoever will listen to me on the internet instead of contributing anything to my family. That’s an exaggeration actually, give me a break, I just sold a coin purse on etsy.

Here’s my question, how do I get my husband to agree to any of this? To indulge my figurative hopping in the car, driving 1000s of miles to kidnap people, throwing ghosts in the backseat to bring back to this field I mowed into my backyard so I can watch baseball games all day instead of harvest corn so they don’t take away my farm? There’s no way he would agree to that unless he’s hoping to get a two week vacation away from me. I’m going to work on my pitch, adding in the detail that the ghost I brought back into our home will save our child from choking on a hot-dog!

I’m not sure how that part of the movie actually worked though, is it like when Patrick Swayze pushed the penny up the door in Ghost? Is that how he pushed the hotdog out? And then once he saved the kid, where did Doc go? He couldn’t go back to ghostland once he stepped off the field. Oh god, does that mean he’s a zombie now? Roaming the streets of Iowa? What happened to Doc Moonlight Graham, Ray?? You didn’t ease his pain, you turned him into a zombie. This movie makes me cry at least 7 times per viewing anyway, but now I’m going to be crying about an old man zombie doctor that just wanted to play ghost ball with some pals, but now he’s stuck out in a field somewhere with that thing from Jeepers Creepers.

And if that weren’t enough dramatics, then you’ve got Darth Vader giving us the most satisfying monologue in history.

Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around”, you’ll say, “It’s only $20 per person”. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

– Terrence Mann, Field of Dreams, 1989

And again, another spoiler alert, Terrence Mann gives this tear inducing speech that makes me cry even thinking about it, tells Ray he lied to him about something (I don’t remember what it is though because I’m always too busy crying at this part), and then goes and dies on everyone. And laughs when he does. Seriously. Here’s Shoeless Joe dragging James Earl Jones to his death in the cornfield, like some kind of dementor, and he laughs about it. Listen, if you think I’m going into a cornfield ever again, you’re nuts. Seriously. Don’t give into temptation. No good is going to come from going into a cornfield. You’re either running into Mel Gibson’s alien friend, some weird blond kids, or Jason. No matter which door you choose, it’s certain death. Especially if Henry Hill’s the one inviting you in and he’s smiling. It’s a scam.

You know what the biggest scam of this whole movie is though? The fakest part ever? No way they got THAT many people to show up to a PTA meeting.

And one lady wore her church pearls! Maybe I should class myself up a bit. I roll into our meetings in my sweatpants, feet up on a table as I daydream about staring into a field of make-believe and ghosts.

These Boots are Made for Walkin’, or How I Plan to get my Own Category on NextDoor

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I don’t know what’s happened to me. I’ve become a walker. It’s ridiculous how much I have taken to it. I walk now. That’s a thing I do regularly. I had walked 5.32 miles yesterday before it was even 11 am. Out loud, that doesn’t sound like I’m living up to my original, diva-esque, Mariah Carey year plans, but in looking back over that resolutions list, I’m not actually that far off. My vision of the year probably involved a lot more champagne and foot rubs, however, as I am sorely lacking in champagne and foot rubs. I also noticed from that old post, we were just about to Supermoon.  And here we are, capping off the whole month with another Supermoon. This one yesterday was all eclipsy. I did not turn into a werewolf, sadly. I did not Thriller dance in the streets. My eyes, they did not yellow.

So fun news! I have a new, additional walking buddy, because, let’s be honest, if I’m not able to gossip and laugh while I walk, then what’s the point. I’ll look like a random hoodlum and will wind up on NextDoor under a “Suspicious Character” titled email. I mean, I might be on NextDoor anyway but I don’t need to prompt them.

Or maybe I do. Maybe I plan an elaborate prank that will last weeks that will get all the neighbors riled up and cause them to go all Hardy Boys. I’m going to tell Nurse Friend about this new plan. She’ll be thrilled.

So new walking buddy that hasn’t replaced Nurse Friend will hereby be known as Book Friend. Book Friend and I like to walk on the other side of Encino. The super rich people side. The house James Dean lived in when he died side, the Liberace Piano Pool house side, The Jackson Family Compound side. Two of those are actually in Sherman Oaks, but not the Jackson house. That’s Encino and speaking of the Jackson house, Tito has not come out and greeted me with a warm cup of tea yet, but it might happen if I wish hard enough.

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Liberace Piano Pool house

Yesterday Book Friend and I accidentally (on purpose) walked onto a live car commercial shoot. They yelled “HOT SET!” at us which I think meant, “shut up about your bad life choices and get out of the shot, pajama girl”. That was not exactly how I’d dreamed of being discovered, but we can’t all be Marilyn.

The rich people side is super nice though and we even saw one of those Little Free Library things that look like a bird mansion with books that people set up around the city. The one we came across had nice books in it like Hamlet and Jane Eyre. I’ve wanted to set one of these Little Free Libraries up around my side of the tracks but $10 says that someone would throw a Playboy and a used condom in it and then hit it with a baseball bat.

Look, my side of the Boulevard isn’t so bad. It’s real nice, actually. They have chairs out for you when you need a rest. Give me a glass of champagne and a foot rub, and it’s like, Tito and his tea, who?

That emerald toned, Lazy Boy is as, if not more lavish than any piano pool, don’t let the lure of Hollywood sway your perception.

The next time Book Friend and I walk, I’m going to pick up one of those Maps of the Stars so I can gawk and awe. Do they have a Valley edition? If they don’t, TMZ Tours better look out. They’ll have some Valley competition soon.

I’m going to get kicked out of Encino, aren’t I?

Neighborhood Watch: Urban Legend or Truth?

On our second day ON DUTY, Nurse Friend is already on thin ice.  I’m starting to think she’s not as into the Neighborhood Watch as I am. My tip-off was her saying, “Oh my god, you think this is real, don’t you,” when I bent down to take a picture of a discarded glove.

That kind of talk gets you demoted to the desk, Nurse Friend. Besides, this could be like, the OJ glove. Evidence? Planted evidence? Who knows, that’s not my job. My job is to document and take notes. Maybe it was Nurse Friend who dropped the glove. Maybe she’s involved in some kind of 2018 Bling Ring crowd. Maybe she’s trying to create a diversion. A nihilistic snide to the very idea of the Neighborhood Watch hoping that I overlook the key piece of evidence that could make or break her trial. How are the jury going to acquit if they never know if the glove fits?

Needless to say, Nurse Friend is no longer amused with this,  which like all things I do, it might have made my friends laugh the one time but now it’s uncomfortable and now they don’t know how to say, “enough”. She still goes walking with me though, so all of that is on her. She loves me.

Okay, but listen, listen, listen. I think we may have found evidence disproving the debunking of urban legend, “Dead Scuba Diver Found in Tree” !

This is what we found at an off-ramp in The Valley, nowhere NEAR a body of water. You tell me this isn’t all that’s left of that poor scuba diver that got sucked up into the bucket of one of those fire helicopters. RIP Jr Collins. RIP.

The Purge

It sounds like a horror movie and to be honest, it feels like one. Does throwing things away expunge the soul of everything holding us down? Does it release the heavy? The “sin” of sloth?

I know two types of people, those that throw everything out, including yearbooks and old math tests from 1994 senior year without ever looking back, and then there are the hoarders. Not one of them seems particularly happy and as much as we all lie to ourselves about it, everyone is either a tosser or a keeper.

I’m a keeper. Probably not in like the relationship sense if we’re basing anything on my poor, unfortunate husband’s defeated eye rolls and sighs, but a keeper in like the “keeping the napkin I was holding the time that Prince (yeah, that Prince) sat next to me at a cafe at Universal City Walk that they’ll find under a rat carcass in the hallway when I’ve been forcibly removed from my home by Human Services or a reality show” sense. My husband is the thrower-out type. I’m surprised he hasn’t tossed me. It’s because he’s a saint.

I do not want to be a hoarder. I don’t. I see Pinterest, I am aware of the “freedom from clutter”, the Scandinavian Chic, the lie that is the Shipping Crate home. It doesn’t work for me because Pinterest hasn’t told me where to put my Prince napkin and my homework from that Italian class I took in college 20 years ago. Because what if I remember how to read in Italian, Pinterest? What good would that be if I’ve thrown away all those verb conjugations? I’d be sitting on my faux fur, white rug, backdropped by my exposed brick living room wall with nothing to read.  I also have children which means that carpet wouldn’t stay white for long. In my living room, there are currently three bins overflowing with Rock Em Sock Em Robots, torn comic books, every Lego magazine that has ever been mailed to us, a broken, plastic dreidel, trains, cars, baby toys (no babies here), broken army men, a blue and white Dodgers’ wig (it’s cursed, that’s a different post), A Tim Salmon bobblehead, and a karate belt (we’re not in karate). There’s art projects and homework papers and little notes that say “i LOvE YOU mOM”. I can’t throw that away. And yet somehow I was able to condense a huge bin of every piece of schoolwork my 4th grader ever brought home into an easy to manage folder yesterday. And if I think about all his handprints and backwards letters and spelling tests that are in the trash can now, I’ll cry. So I have to pretend that they don’t exist anymore and that’s a lot of stress. How do the Pinterest people relax and just live??

Tossers?? How do you live?? Have you no souls?

On the opposite end, I’m tired of moving no less than seven shopping bags of old fabric scraps and half-finished sewing projects every time I need to use my desk and I’m pretty sure that less stuff would give the cat hair less area to cling to. Who knows though, it tumbles down the hallway regardless.

I promised the husband that I would clean out these toy bins before the kids get home from school. I have done nothing but toggle back and forth from tumblr and this post while yelling at the cat to stop scratching the couch since 8 am.

But I’m on a quest. To de-stuff my life. It won’t be Pinterest pretty (unless someone knows of a Pinterest board that can help). Just note that I have been attempting The Purge since at LEAST 2013 blogspot days which doesn’t bode too well for me.   I think what I really need is a Roomba.

How powerful is a Roomba? Like if it found a dead rat, hypothetically, could it remove it before the reality show people bring my mom into this?

Neighborhood Watch: Shift 1

Nurse friend and I went out on our weekly walk on Friday as the “Neighborhood Watch Patrol” as a joke and I swear to god, not only was it the best walk we’ve ever been on,  there was some shady things afoot that I was not expecting to see.

  • Guy in yellow LADWP shirt with beeping device that we were saying was probably fake and that his yellow shirt was fake and it was a conspiracy to commit crimes. This could be true, actually.
  • We saw 3 guys in black suits, but the jackets were shiny and possibly made out of leather. The Mob. Clearly. And we kept seeing them. They were walking up one street and then 5 minutes later, you’d see two more looking at a house 3 blocks down. We never were completely sure if it was the same guys or a whole sting operation. But they have been noted in the Neighborhood Watch logbook.
  • Some guy (do not believe he was part of the black jacket gang, he was in a khaki polo) started following us so we, smartly, began group texting some friends our selfies hoping to get him in the background of them in case we died. The friends did not find it as dire a situation as Nurse Friend and I did. We could’ve been killed. Our first day on patrol was almost our last.
  • One of the friends that we were texting selfies to, drove by us without slowing down, not waving, probably wishing she had chosen a different route. I called her immediately, she told me she was in the car with someone and that I was on speakerphone and do NOT be weird. I responded “Neighborhood Watch”, she hung up on me.
  • It got really hot outside. Like in the 80s. Too hot to walk around anymore plus it’s January and I would like at least a little semblance of winter. Also, we both had to pee. No one would come down a half a block and pick us up. Noted in the logbook.
  • We thought about stealing a golf cart from a security guard we had passed earlier. Decided that’s probably against “official” Neighborhood Watch Rules but not completely off the table of ideas.
  • We noticed a lady pushing around an empty baby stroller. No baby. Strange. Noted in the logbook.

5 Miles, 17,000 sit-ups worth of laughing, several potential criminal activities sighted and noted INCLUDING the friend who is trying to hide me from her other friends AND also the other friend who wouldn’t come pick us up when we got tired and sweaty.

Overall, the “Neighborhood Watch” was a success and we probably thwarted crimes from being committed during our shift. Also, we laughed the entire time, past a middle of the day dance party, or rave, or really loud music and we got to dance in the street like David Bowie and Mick Jagger.

I think we are patrolling again tomorrow. They’re going to give us the key to the city.

Neighborhood Watch

Well, craps. Last night I fell asleep again at 9pm. I’ve become so uncool. I have a reputation to uphold. Although, falling asleep so early means that I am also up so early and I can’t say I hate that part. I do enjoy all the quiet and calm before everyone wakes up in the morning.

So, let me tell you about my newest obsession. The other night there was a PTO meeting at school. (PTO is like the PTA but like, the underground version. Like a badly drawn version of Tony the Tiger but his name is Cody and he’s in board shorts which is actually an improvement because, why doesn’t Tony wear pants??) Anyway, at the PTO board meeting, an officer from the LAPD came to talk to us about neighborhood safety which in turn, made everyone at the board meeting passionately consider forming a neighborhood watch to catch the criminals in the act and let them and all their thief friends know that we are not having this here in the 91436, thank you very much, sirs!

This is my favorite thing that has happened in recent memory. Frantic, vigilante moms taking back the streets of Encino.

My nurse friend and I try to walk the neighborhood for a couple of miles at least once a week. Something ridiculous happens everytime we go out, but add “catching crooks” to the list and I cannot wait to document all of it. The NextDoor posts are about to level up.

This topic is all I can think about and I’ve been laughing about for 3 days. This is getting its own category on my blog. Stay tuned. I am not done with this nonsense.

I need to go get ready ’cause we’re walking today. My first, unofficial Neighborhood Watch patrol. I’ll report back if anything goes down. Today could be a two post kind of a day.

Home

I missed two blog days because my schedule is all off. When I was in Oregon, I was writing about my day at the end of the day when everything was quiet and I had pictures to add to posts and the only worry I had was if I was wearing enough socks.  Now that I’m back in California, I have dinner to make, dishes to do, children to bathe, bedtime stories to tell, and a cat that’s been waking me up at 5:00 in the morning. So when it’s time to put my 6 year old to bed, I end up falling asleep right next to him and waking up at 3 in the morning with my glasses still on my face, a full bladder, and teeth that haven’t been brushed and a full glass of wine next to me on the nightstand. I’m a disaster. And when you fall asleep at 8:30 pm, 5:00 am is EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS LATER.  I have to force myself to go back to sleep when I wake up at 3am because my body only really wants 6 hours of sleep. I’m turning into night people, but like the opposite way from when I was a cool 23 year old.

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I have no idea where this picture was stolen from originally but I stole it from a dude on tumblr who stole it first.

This year has already gone off the rails. I’ve spent the majority of 2018 not home and in someone else’s space, living someone else’s schedule. And not showering because it was too cold to be wet.

But I’m home now, I’m warm, and I’m buckling back down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness or contentment or whatever that is. That place. The Calm. And I think I’ve discovered it. All of it comes down to living your own life and allowing other people to live theirs. Live and let live. Like when you were young and your heart was an open book.

It’s not healthy or peaceful to comb through everyone else’s business looking for things to be mad about. Negativity breeds negativity. It just does. New rule! Ignore it. In this great year that is The Year of Me™️**, I think this is my official tagline: Ignore and move on.  No more unsolicited advice. I’m a notorious advice giver. I wish I could shut up, but the pull of the demons in me that wants to advise others is too strong. But facts are, advice is annoying. No one wants advice, advice is the worst and it makes you want to punch the know-it-all in the mouth. I officially ignore everyone from here on out. Except in the case of NextDoor. Those people are asking for judgement.

New year, new me equals butting out of people’s business. I’ll still probably have something to say, but I will keep it to myself from here on out to the best of my abilities. I mean, still give me the gossip, I love the gossip, you know this, but I need to be done with the acting like I know everything part. I’ll still know everything, obviously, but I’ll keep my mouth shut about it.

I’m still going to blog everyday.

I’m still not going to exercise.

**is the trademark meme out? Is it too 2017? Let me know, I can’t look out of touch with the youth